Spying on the Saboteur: Philadelphia Flyers at St. Louis Blues

Since the comeback victory against the Boston Bruins on Monday night, the Philadelphia Flyers have had some setbacks of their own. Brad Marchand isn’t the only one who has his hands on the short end of the stick. The following practice, goaltender Carter Hart left the ice with an abdominal strain. In this time, the Flyers have recalled Alex Lyon from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as he will be traveling with the team. Tonight, the regular season marches on as Philadelphia visits the St. Louis Blues.

It seems like each game since the Philadelphia Flyers have returned from their bad road trip has been against the cream of the crop in the NHL. Tonight is no different, as the St. Louis Blues are currently tied for first place in the NHL along with the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins. While the Flyers did defeat the Capitals and the Bruins at home, they will have to take that same effort on the road, which has been more than a challenge. The Blues are winners of nine straight home games while Philadelphia is winless in their last four road games. To add to their dominance, St. Louis is the only team to have not lost in regulation when scoring the first goal.

Brian Elliott will get the start tonight on the road in place of Carter Hart, who will be out for at most, three weeks. Jordan Binnington will start for the St. Louis Blues. Over the last ten games between the two franchises, they’re split at 5-5 against one another. The Blues have won the last two games in regulation, both by a margin of three goals or greater. On the injury report, St. Louis lists Carl Gunnarsson (IR) and Colton Parayko (IR).

St. Louis Blues – Skaters

Offensively, tonight’s storyline draws attention to a former Philadelphia Flyer on the St. Louis Blues, Brayden Schenn. He is second in scoring on the Blues this season, tallying 40 points. Schenn is proving to be almost as efficient at scoring goals on the powerplay as he is during even-strength hockey. Credit that to his shot selection, scoring on 17.7% of the shots he takes. Of his 40 points this season, 23 are assists.

Defensively, Alex Pietrangelo has been a superstar. The defenseman has contributed 38 points this season, which is good for fifth on the team. He’s a player that the Philadelphia Flyers need to give their attention to while on the penalty kill. The majority of his assists come on the powerplay and he is closing in on being as efficient with goal scoring on the powerplay. When in the defensive zone, he’s blocked 55 shots and dished 27 hits.

St. Louis Blues – Goaltending

Of the NHL teams tied for first place in the NHL right now, Jordan Binnington’s numbers may not leap out at you like Tuukka Rask or Braden Holtby. Binnington can be dominant. Almost two-thirds of his starts are quality starts. He totes a 91.7% save percentage and yields a goals against average of 2.47. The St. Louis Blues have the advantage in the net tonight.

Faceoff Possession

Both teams have a winning percentage in the faceoff circle that exceeds 50%. The St. Louis Blues are at 51.9% while the Philadelphia Flyers maintain 54.3%. On the Blues, the best faceoff opportunists are Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak. For the Flyers, they look to Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Scott Laughton. The advantage here stays with Philadelphia.

Prediction

The Philadelphia Flyers are on the road and we all know that is where they struggle. With the recent injuries and line changes, the St. Louis Blues have more firepower. Looking at the goaltender matchup, the Blues are favored. If the Flyers want an opportunity to win tonight, they have to play nearly a perfect game. My prediction is that St. Louis gets the home win by more than one goal.

Puck drop is scheduled for 8 pm from the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The money line favors the St. Louis Blues at -185 with an over-under set at 6. Follow me at EricReesePSN and Philly Sports Network at PhiladelphiaSN on Twitter!

Mandatory Credit – © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

3 thoughts on “Spying on the Saboteur: Philadelphia Flyers at St. Louis Blues

  1. One way to solve these problems, is to sign Tanner Lazynski and Wade Allison to ELC”s at end of this season! Because Tanner would be instant upgrade to our prospect pool, and i believe he will make a similar impact to our team as NAK has this season, witch would be great to see! Allison has struggled with injuries really much in his short career, but without injuries, i believe he has a lot to offer as points producing power-forward starting next season, because injury free he has been a beast, so we know his got the talent in him!

  2. We should have more players like NAK in our prospect pool, because while he is not the tallest of players, he is still a thick kid with enough skill to play in almost every line, with good success! So draft skilled thick and physical players like NAK more in the future, starting next summer, because they can play up and down in our line-up without any major problems, despite people tend to think them only as a fourth-line players!

    1. NAK has absolutely been physical and is an asset on the forecheck. I do believe that the Flyers have a great opportunity to make a push at forward with Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost once they find a balance in Lehigh Valley. Expect Farabee to be called up again relatively soon, if not by the end of the day on 1/16/2020. I really think Chris Stewart’s move to waivers was a salary cap move.

      If Wade Allison can stay healthy, I would give him a shot. I would be willing to test out just about everyone to see how they work on the Flyers roster. However, health is an issue. No sense in calling up someone who cannot stay healthy. That puts Philadelphia in the same hole they’ve been in.

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